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Feed2JS Clock Has Been Off For Years

Thanks to some keen observers who have recently noted a long standing problem with Feed2JS— for the display of the date and item was posted, we had been using some Magpie and PHP functions to convert the date/time stamp of an item to a milliseconds value and then using the php date() function for the screen display. Yet I was overlooking the fact that the functions were converting the time into one relative to the local time on my server.

Of course, when testing against this blag, the date/time stamps were okay since its on the same server and in the same timezone.


To calculate the time zone offset will take some effort since the date/time formats of feeds have about 5-10 different variations. One option is to include a new parameter that will allow a user to indicate the timezone offset from our local time– this can be as simple as the build page displaying our local time and giving a drop down menu to select offsets from +12 to -12 to correct the offset.

Until I figure that, I have recoded the date/time stamping to just use whatever string is provided in the feed item; and some simple clean up such as removing “Z” from Atom date/times, and stripping the time zone offsets from RSS 1.0 feeds. Please let me know if you see anything weird.

This means, for the past 2 years or so, y’all been displaying feeds in Arizona time! Maybe no one minded…

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


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